Joe Muto Book Excerpt…

Salon has published a book excerpt from Joe Muto…

The bottom line is that each show had one person — be they anchor or producer or whoever — who was directly accountable to the Second Floor. That was the brilliance of the company’s power structure. One misconception that outsiders always had about the channel is that we’d sit around all morning planning how to distort the news that day. But there was never any centralized control like that. No “marching orders,” as it were. Instead, it was more a decentralized, entrepreneurial approach. Each show was an autonomous unit. Each showrunner — who had not risen to their position by being stupid — knew exactly what was expected of them, knew what topics and guests would be acceptable.

Theoretically, each show could talk about whatever they wanted to talk about, and take any angle they wanted to take, and book any guest they wanted to have on.

Realistically, there was tremendous pressure to hew closely to the company line. The Second Floor monitored the content of every show very closely. Each show was required to submit a list of all the guests and all the topics well before the fact; the list would be reviewed by one of the relevant vice presidents. Most of the time, this was just a formality — as I said, the showrunners knew their boundaries — but every once in a while, a certain guest or topic would set off alarm bells on the second floor, leading to a series of increasingly urgent and unpleasant e-mails and phone calls for the showrunner.

Even if a segment passed initial muster, the Second Floor reserved the right to pull the plug if it took a turn they didn’t like. They were always watching, and never hesitant to exercise their authority. Roger himself had a phone in his office, a hotline he could pick up and immediately be connected to the control room. Every producer knew that, and dreaded seeing his name on the caller ID. If Roger took the time to personally call the control room, in my experience it was almost never complimentary.


81 Responses to “Joe Muto Book Excerpt…”

  1. Certainly has more control than Obama does of his renegade government.

  2. paminwi Says:

    At least Roger Ailes knew what was happening in his organization BEFORE he saw it on TV.

    I wonder at MSNBC do they have multiple folks on each show who are answerable to their executive floor? What a stupid a** comment.

  3. ^ So I guess it’s all good then.

    My favorite part was Roger Ailes banning Politico, and decreeing that they always be referred to as “left-wing Politico”. That is not journalism. The joint is run by a Republican strategist as a political PR service.

  4. There goes Joe,shooting his mouth of as if he knew something were true (which isn’t). He takes the ‘mole’ claim that Fox always called Politico ‘left wing’ as true. Dozens of examples prove otherwise. Since Joe never watches Fox News he’ll believe any crap about it. Only Fox & Friends regularly used ‘lefty’ term, and it was tongue-in-cheek.

    it took me 15 seconds to find this:–but-gets-no-results/

  5. Uh huh. That link is almost two years old.

  6. 20 seconds to this (Feb 27 2013) and the ref to Politico is no different from the ’2-year old’… JEEZ! what a moroon!

  7. So you don’t believe Ailes delivered the edict, or that most opinion shows delivered on it? Sorry, I believe. Defending The Mothership by pretending it doesn’t do what it obviously does, is silly. To quote G.Gordon Liddy, the trick is in not minding. You don’t.

  8. They’ve reported on Politico probably a dozen times today without calling it ‘left’. Most recently just moments ago.

  9. And Liddy stole the quote from Lawrence of Arabia.

  10. Duh. They’re not going to keep doing it now that the book is out. You’re assuming Muto lied. I assume you’re wrong.

  11. And Liddy stole the quote from Lawrence of Arabia.

    That’s nice.

  12. Since Joe never watches Fox News he’ll believe any crap about it.

    But, but, but Larry, he reads Media Matters, which gives him insight into whatever he is told to believe by Soros.

  13. So now Joe doesn’t believe Ailes delivered the edict, or that most opinion shows delivered on it? Goalposts shifted!

    Now instead of criticizing ‘journalism’ Joe’s talking about opinion shows. And can produce no evidence that Shep or Bret did this. Beam me up

  14. Correction: I’ll snag a link from MM if I can’t find another one. I don’t read MM or Daily Kos or Drudge or Newsbusters or any other partisan blather-site. They’re all insufferable bores.

  15. You’ve quoted MM many times in the past.

  16. No I haven’t. I’ve used their links to Rush clips a few times, but thanks for the pointless journey through the Internet Wayback Machine. If I say I don’t read Media Matters, you have no reason to think I’m lying. Partisan sites bore me. I don’t read them.

  17. If I say I don’t read Media Matters, you have no reason to think I’m lying.

    Well, other than you are. You once quoted them on Limbaugh when he wasn’t even on that day.

  18. After Muto claimed Fox ALWAYS referred to Politico as left, Joe is going to prove it by snagging A link? That it happened ONCE?!? I give up!

  19. I’m quite sure I quoted them for whatever Rush said on whatever day. This may be hard for you to fathom, but Rush clips/quotes show up in places like Mediaite and Twitter, which are things I do read. THIS…is a stupid conversation.

  20. Don’t give up so easily, Larry. It’s have fun picking on the Leftists night.

  21. “I’m quite sure I quoted them for whatever Rush said on whatever day. This may be hard for you to fathom, but Rush clips/quotes show up in places like Mediaite and Twitter, which are things I do read. THIS…is a stupid conversation.”

    I pointed it out at the time that the clips were selectively edited, and in that particular case, Mark Steyn was the substitute host, so it was an old clip. However, you HAVE quoted MM. You think that it’s a “stupid conversation” because you are wrong. AND YOU KNOW IT.

  22. One more time, Nixon, before everyone dies of boredom. I have linked to MM. I do not read MM. No one cares.

  23. You’ve linked to something that you didn’t read? Right.

    No one cares.
    You may be surprised. Seeing someone, such as yourself, make a fool out himself can be quite entertaining.

  24. All the fools stopped being entertaining quite a while ago.

  25. I’m easily amused, Laura. Even when I’m the fool.

  26. imnotblue Says:

    So the point of this excerpt is that… FNC manages the content of their network?


    I wonder if any other network does this.

    Oh yeah… every other network. Ever.


  27. The point of the excerpt is that a Republican political strategist manages his “news” network as a Republican political strategist. It’s a problem.

  28. The point of the excerpt is that a Republican political strategist manages his “news” network as a Republican political strategist. It’s a problem.

    As opposed to MSNBC being, oh let’s say, a leisure time activity of the Communist Party USA?

  29. Is it…Satan??

  30. Is it…Satan??

    Joe’s vision of Ailes, or my mind expansion, Laura? Unlike me, Joe actually believes his BS.

  31. It’s a devilish (ha) combination of Laurence Olivier and The Church Lady, I try to avoid ‘mind expansion’, when possible.

  32. ProTip: Defending FNC by saying it’s the conservative version of MSNBC doesn’t refute my point, it proves it. I’m fine with it as the highly entertaining TV version of a tabloid rightwing newspaper/website that it is, I just object to its false claims about itself.

  33. “Mind expansion” is just another term for a bunch of crap, usually meant tongue in cheek.

  34. You know,I could give a crap what Joe objects to, but that’s just an opinion.

  35. I want to go to Canada. I blame Anthony Bourdain.

  36. I want to go to…that place where he fell off the ATV. Whichever one that was. I’ll bring a helmet.

  37. Joe can object in one hand and….well, you get the idea.

  38. I love the two guys…like a gourmet-version of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon in an ice-fishing shack. That can’t even be real.

  39. Yeah, those two were pretty funny.

  40. I was thinking more of Bob and Doug McKenzie, Laura.

  41. Grumpy Old Men with fine dining.

  42. Yeah, but you need Burgess Meredith to keep the kids in line.

  43. He can shave the truffles. You know, if they get hairy.

  44. That was an interesting read. Nothing damning about any of it and he describes a fairly typical corporate atmosphere where the profit centre brand is closely watched and protected.

    What he writes about O’Reilly rings true. Unquestionably a very smart man, I’ve noticed myself many times over the years that he gets stuck pushing a false premise and refuses to shake it no matter how illogical it’s shown to be over and over again. I assume he still does that.

    I think the guy’s wrong about O’Reilly not liking Hannity and whoever else because of their better radio success. He fancies himself to be a fact-based journalist and wants little to do with flat-out opinion show hosts. He sees his “conclusions” to be ferreted out truths that are somehow superior to mere political opinions.

  45. Lyndon Johnson one had a guy working for him caught sniffing jock straps in the boys locker room. Sometimes you just hire the wrong guy.

  46. imnotblue Says:

    Joe… how is what is described here, any different than how any other network runs themselves?

  47. Blue, I’m sure you haven’t missed my repeated explanation of my problem with this. Roger Ailes is a Republican strategist running his news network as a campaign operation, then lying about it with all that “fair and balanced” silliness. I have no objection to FNC being the platform that it is. It’s the dishonesty about it that bugs me.

  48. savefarris Says:

    When we all know cable news networks are SUPPOSED to be run as Swedish bakeries…

    You didn’t answer blue’s question: Specific examples of how every other ‘objective’ news organization is run and how FNC does the exact opposite.

  49. Just because you have a political point of view doesn’t mean you can’t have be fair and balanced in your reporting. Over ninety present of MSM reporters and anchors are liberal and that’s what they claim. Tim Russert was pretty good at it. Sore sport Joe can’t admit FNC does a good job at being fair while reporting from a conservative vantage point. This is the same dipstick now on his soapbox who preached the MSM bias was only in the conservatives imagination. Lefties just can’t stand no longer being the only game in town. Tough titty.

  50. I don’t care about a premise I didn’t introduce. I’m not arguing the machinations of how executives run companies; I’m addressing that FNC is dishonest about what any fool can see it does.

    Phil Griffin is just as dishonest anytime he calls MSNBC a news channel. Fortunately, only cable news geeks like us hear that mindless babble. All of MSNBC’s ads promote the network as the liberal-leaning political opinion channel that it is.

  51. savefarris Says:

    Still no examples from Joe.

    It’s almost as if it’s just a talking point he regurgitates with no evidence backing it up…

  52. past practice is no guarantee of future performance… but it’s a leading indicator.

  53. Really. I’ve been here 4 and a 1/2 years; you guys have a long history of reminding me of things I said months ago; and you can’t remember a single example of what I claim about FNC. Buncha geniuses.

  54. I’m feeling pretty smart today.

  55. “you can’t remember a single example of what I claim” Joe thinks it’s up to others to provide examples of HIS claim. Oh that wacky Remi.

  56. You’re playing games. I’ve been expressing this opinion for years, going all the way back to Scary Black Guys Intimidating Voters and doctored videos intended to show ACORN was doing Bad Stuff. Now it’s a constant drum-beating of OBAMA SCANDALS. FNC is Roger Ailes’ SuperPAC.

  57. Roger Ailes has proven his business acumen throughout his career including his term as the boss at CNBC. He’s been a Republican media consultant over the years but that’s not quite the same as being a strategist. Even if he was, you can’t properly run a profitable and growing enterprise if one of your main concerns is helping your side get elected.

    Stiill, FNC has most certainly changed from its “fair and balanced” days. That happened right around the time when Fox News Watch was inferiorly revamped, Fox & Friends started using its opinion hosts for reading the real news segments, and Hannity & Colmes became Hannity & Hannity.

  58. I’m fairly unbalanced.

  59. imnotblue Says:

    Joe… you posted a comment on a thread about a book excerpt. Have you forgotten that?

    You used the book excerpt to explain your view, and then got mad when people said it doesn’t make sense or prove what you’re saying it does.

    How are you not grasping that?

  60. Blue, this was Joe at his finest yesterday, with my follow up:

    Yes, Nixon, I’m assuming that excerpts from the book were not rewritten before they ended up at ICN. To assume that EVERY SINGLE LINK/CLIP/EXCERPT THAT BOTHERS YOU HAS BEEN MODIFIED is a ridiculous way to live.

    Calm down, Joe. I was simply wondering if you were reading it or going by the excerpts. I may actually buy it, or at least shoplift it.

    Joe is in his own little world where he has to have someone to focus on as being evil. Today it’s Roger Ailes. Tomorrow? Who knows?

  61. You people.

  62. You people.

    Most of us are.

  63. How much of an advance on his book did Muto get to tell us that FNC is run like a business, because well it’s a business?

  64. How much of an advance on his book did Muto get to tell us that FNC is run like a business, because well it’s a business?

    In return for the book, his IRS problems “disappeared.”

  65. icemannyr Says:

    FNC does a better job of presenting their opinion as news then MSNBC does.

  66. Ice, most people can tell the difference between news and opinion. It’s not hard to do.

  67. Yes, but FNC is dishonest about it. Almost all of their straight news coverage has an agenda, which they present with a wink and a nod to an approving audience. I know what I’m getting when I watch so it doesn’t bother me, but the “let’s all pretend what’s happening isn’t really happening” thing is kinda silly.

  68. That’s bullsh*t, Joe. And you know it. Just because they report things that you may not approve of, doesn’t make it dishonest.

  69. icemannyr Says:

    FNC has a conservative agenda. They are pro NRA, anti green energy, believe climate change is a myth and hate Obama.
    Plus most if all of their opinion show hosts are republicans.
    Lets be honest FNC is just as biased as MSNBC.
    The only difference is FNC has more news hours then MSNBC.

  70. I present to you Jon Scott, Heather Childers and Gregg Jarrett. They are all openly and unabashedly conservative during their newscasts. Julie Banderas wasn’t, and I sometimes wonder if her star faded at FNC because of it.

  71. To point out that Obama is dishonest is not hate.
    Green energy is hopelessly inefficient at this point in time, that is not to say it may not evolve into being useful.
    I love how the left has changed “Global Warming” to “Climate Change.” The climate is in a constant state of flux. The lies pushed forward by Gore and company have been debunked. Man has nothing to do with it. It is the Sun, has been the whole time. But, those with an agenda to make quick money (Gore and his carbon offset scheme) or have a desire to control others, found friendly scientists to go along. The whole East Anglia program has collapsed, based on willful lies. If you still buy into it, that’s your problem.

  72. My God, Joe. they are ten times worse than Hitler! I guess the ones at other networks that are damn near to the left of Mao are fine with you.

  73. Yes, Milhous, I voiced my opinion abut the conservatives on the conservative channel saying conservative stuff. Try not to panic.

  74. I was simply pointing out that you are a hypocrite.

  75. I am simply pointing out that you are a big doodie-head.

  76. mooyintepikan

  77. Since when is calling Joe out for his bullshit “panic”? It’s always just his “opinion” when the turtle sticks his head in the shell. Doesn’t make the stink any better.

  78. Joe doesn’t like people to disagree with him, so turns to insults.

  79. I didn’t insult anyone. You doodie-heads.

  80. Damn it, Joe. Calm down and enjoy the race from Dover. I expected Gilliland to try and pull Newman out of his car. He was seriously pissed.

  81. Joe insulted my mule. Mule don’t take kindly to insults.

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